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Villa Maria Ngakirikiri 2014 Comparative Tasting

Recently, Nick Picone and Matt Deller MW hosted a tasting of Villa Maria Ngakirikiri with flight of international Cabernet Sauvignon dominant wines from 2014/5 vintages.

Ngakirikiri 2014, even with 6 years development, has a deep and distinctive fuchsia colour, opaque with aromas of ripe blackcurrants, Doris plums, hints of violet and sage and sun-baked green capsicum from the dusty terraces of the Gimblett Gravels. On the palate, grippy tannins, grasp your gums, leaving no doubt that this wine has a future and will relish more time to evolve.

2014 Chateau Lafite Rothchild Pauillac, Bordeaux with an average vine age of 39 years 87% Cabernet Sauvignon 10% Merlot 3% Cabernet Franc

2015 Almaviva, Puente Alto, Chile a Bordeaux blend, based on Cabernet Sauvignon, with 24 % Carmenère. Jointly owned by Bordeaux’s Château Mouton-Rothschild and Chile’s Concha y Toro.

2014 Pichon Comtesse de Lalande Pauillac, Bordeaux, now owned by the Rouzaud family who own the Champagne house Louis Roederer is a classic wine.

2014 Vasse Felix Tom Cullity Margaret River is named after Dr Thomas Cullity who established Vasse Felix in 1967.

2014 Ao Yun, Yunnan, China is owned by LVMH Moet Hennessy and draws from multiple villages located in the  foothills of the Himalayas, at the foot of the sacred Meili mountain, with vineyards ranging from 2,200 to 2,600 metres.

2015 Eisele Altagracia Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa is now owned by the parent company of Chateau Latour

For me, Ngakirikiri was the young one of the line-up. Its deep purple hue displayed its youth and vitality and this perhaps reflected its screwcap closure while the other wines veered towards garnet and brickish tones. Tannins were prevalent across all 7 wines, again acknowledging that they can continue to age and  go forward. The two Bordeaux wines were elegant and well-balanced showing those characteristics that make these wine so valued. Ao Yun, had that distinctive tomato-leaf, earthy character that I so often found in wines from China. Most were over 14% alcohol and not for the feint-hearted.  

Thank you to Villa Maria for sharing all these wines.

Celia Hay